Barton Hill Academy

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About Barton Hill Academy

Name Barton Hill Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Ms Samantha Smith
Address Barton Hill Road, Torquay, TQ2 8JA
Phone Number 01803327161
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 645
Local Authority Torbay
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a highly inclusive school. The provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is a significant strength of Barton Hill. These pupils have their needs well met, both in the resource base and in the mainstream classes.

The school ensures they learn the same broad and balanced curriculum as their peers. The school's pastoral team helps build strong relationships with families. They help families secure extra support when they need it.

Pupils enjoy school and feel safe. They are kind and tolerant. Adults manage behaviour effectively.

This is because they know pupils well. As a result, in lessons there is little low-level di...sruption. At social times, pupils play well together.

Pupils say that bullying is rare, but adults sort it out if it does occur. Staff in the early years ensure that children learn routines straightaway. This helps them to settle quickly and get off to an exceptional start.

Pupils experience a range of cultures through the curriculum, trips and visitors. For example, pupils visit London and France. This helps them understand different points of view.

Pupils develop their talents through clubs such as football, guitar and performing arts. They take on leadership roles which give them a sense of responsibility.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school is determined not to let pupils' backgrounds or starting points be a barrier to educational success.

This permeates throughout its work. The school recognises the importance of securing the best possible start to children's education. This is reflected by the outstanding early years provision.

Pupils' outcomes show that they progress well through the curriculum. However, leaders have made changes to the curriculum to make these even better. They have recently introduced a new, knowledge-rich, well-sequenced and ambitious curriculum.

This has started to bear fruit. Pupils learn more. In some subjects, such as music and modern foreign languages, specialist teachers are used to ensure consistency and quality across the school.

The school has planned the curriculum to a high level of detail. This helps support teachers' subject knowledge. Teachers say this also supports them with workload.

However, on some occasions, teachers do not take into account what pupils can already do. They provide activities that are too easy. For example, in mathematics, some pupils say they do not feel challenged often enough.

Consequently, they do not learn as much as they could.

Reading is a leading light of the curriculum. The school has carefully selected the books pupils will study from early years to Year 6.

This means that pupils read a rich range of texts that they may not otherwise experience. Pupils learn to read through a systematic and rigorous approach. This starts in the early years.

Through regular checks, pupils who fall behind are identified swiftly. The school gives them the additional support they need to catch up quickly.

Older pupils receive an equally high-quality reading curriculum.

The school ensures that pupils continue to read with fluency through regular practise. Vocabulary is a cornerstone of lessons. This helps pupils to apply this to their writing.

Many children enter the early years with skills well below what is expected for their age. The school precisely identifies where children need the most support and ensures the curriculum closely matches their needs. For example, the school has identified the need to focus on children's physical development and ensures the curriculum reflects this.

Children show impressive concentration on tasks. The language-rich environment is carefully designed to enhance learning. The school has trained adults to have high-quality interactions with children.

This means they develop their communication and language exceptionally well. By the end of Reception Year, children are extremely well prepared for Year 1.

Through the personal, social and health education curriculum, pupils learn about staying safe online.

They know how to keep physically and mentally healthy. Pupils understand how people can suffer from discrimination. They understand what democracy is and link it to the pupil leadership group in their own school.

The trust has an accurate view of the school. It carefully monitors the school's work, such as the rate of attendance and suspension. The trust supports and challenges the school to improve these as necessary.

However, the school's internal checks and records on aspects of its work are not as precise as they could be. For example, checks on the curriculum do not precisely identify where pupils' knowledge is strongest and weakest within subjects.

The overwhelming majority of parents have positive views on the school.

They feel the school nurtures pupils well. Parents are proud for their children to attend Barton Hill.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school does not use assessment well enough to provide pupils with tasks that build on what they already know. As a result, some pupils find the work too easy and do not learn as well as they could. The trust and the school should ensure that teachers take into account what pupils can already do and provide them with activities that deepen their knowledge fully.

The school's checks on some aspects of its work are not precise. As a result, the school is not clear on how effective some parts of its work are. The trust needs to ensure the school refines its checks so that they are more precise.

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